The Power of Authenticity: How to Create Videos that Connect With Your Audience
There's no question that video is one of the most powerful marketing tools at a brand's disposal. But for videos to be truly effective, they need to be authentic. With so much marketing noise out there, it's hard to be heard. And even if you are heard, it's hard to be trusted.
In a world where we're constantly bombarded with marketing messages from every direction, it's more important than ever for brands to rise above the noise and create videos that are authentic and connect with their audience on a human level.
In this blog, we'll share how brands can be more authentic in their videos and connect with their viewers on a deeper level.
What is Brand Authenticity?
But what does 'brand authenticity' mean? And how can you create videos that are truly authentic?
Brand authenticity is the perception a consumer has based on their interaction with a brand. In other words, brand authenticity is how real, genuine, and transparent someone thinks a brand is in its efforts to connect with them.
Gary Vaynerchuk, in one of his keynote speeches, asked the audience to raise their hand if, when they first came across his content, thought that he was a scam artist. He then asked those who had just raised their hand if his content has ever impacted them positively. Both of those questions got a lot of hands raised. The fact that those same people were even listening to his speech says a lot.
Here lies the biggest challenge that brands face in today's business climate - bridging the gap between what the consumer thinks and the brand's intentions and interactions, which we'll explore in greater detail in the next section.
Why is Brand Authenticity So Crucial?
We are so used to being marketed to that it's difficult to tell when a brand is actually authentic. In fact, a report conducted by Stackla showed that there is a wide discrepancy between what marketers and consumers think is authentic when it comes to branded content. 92% of marketers believe their content resonates authentically, yet only 51% of consumers believe it actually resonates as authentic. This indicates that marketers are failing to authentically connect in their content efforts.
The Age of Authenticity
Brand authenticity rose in importance due to the use of questionable marketing tactics and the proliferation of information. In the past, companies could get away with it, but nowadays, consumers are far savvier. They can easily spot when a brand is being inauthentic, and they're not afraid to call them out on it.
Moreover, in our social media-driven world, one false move or forced persona can quickly go viral and damage a company's reputation. As such, it's more important than ever for companies to be authentic in their interactions with consumers. This doesn't mean that consumers want brands to be picture-perfect, but they do expect them to be trustworthy and honest.
Many individuals are looking for more genuine connections as society becomes increasingly digital, and new possibilities have emerged as a result. When you're authentic, people can see that you're genuine, and they can connect with you on a deeper level. As a result, they're more likely to trust you and do business with you.
Patagonia is a perfect example of this; instead of going public with their company, they decided to go purpose. Yvon Chouinard stated, "If we could do the right thing while making enough to pay the bills, we could influence customers and other businesses, and maybe change the system along the way." They don't just say they care about the planet, they've actually put their money where their mouth is. This has always shown in their efforts, like their warn wear initiative, where customers who bought Patagonia apparel in the past are able to exchange it for credit towards their next purchase.
So the way a company appears and behaves can help or hinder it. Brand authenticity matters because it humanizes a brand, builds trust, and creates an emotional connection with your viewers. Regardless of whether you are B2B or B2C. Let's discuss how you can apply authenticity to your video content now that you understand its importance.
How Brands Can Be More Authentic in Their Videos
The thing about authenticity is it's innate to each individual and brand, it just needs to be nurtured. To create videos that resonate with your audience, you need to be genuine and honest in your approach. Being authentic simply means building on the core foundation of the brand, centering that around every message and action the brand takes, and amplifying it through video. Here are a few things you can do to make your content more authentic.
1. Practice What You Peech
There's no hiding in today's response-ready society. If you mess up, that story will spread like wildfire. Consumers are savvy; they can weed out inauthenticity from a mile away and are not afraid to say it. With TikTok being the cool kid on the block, it seems like every day, there's a new celebrity joining the app. Users can tell (or at the very least, form opinions) if they joined because they genuinely wanted to or because their publicist persuaded them to do so. The second a brand appears inauthentic, they have lost the consumer's trust. And once that trust is gone, it's very hard to get back.
That's why authenticity should be the driving force behind your strategy, not an afterthought. And the driving force behind authenticity is your WHY! There needs to be a WHY behind every action for authenticity to flourish.
Simon Sinek's book, It Starts With Why explores how inspiring people to take action always starts with understanding the WHY. All humans require a WHY before taking any sort of action because it grounds us. It is our moral compass that points us in the right direction. The same goes for brands. The WHY is what will set the tone and drive the strategy for everything else that follows.
Your WHY is the reason your brand exists.
Sinek points out that your why targets the limbic part of the brain, allowing the viewer to be emotionally impacted and persuaded to take action. When someone trusts you, they are more likely to be loyal to you. This connection goes beyond logic and forms on a gut level. A thorough grasp of your WHY then becomes naturally evident to viewers in your video content.
2. Stand For Something
Brands cannot be bystanders. In today's world, you need to stand for something to stand out. While some may unfollow you, the ones who remain (target audience) will become more active and engaged with your brand.
More and more consumers are making purchasing decisions based on how similar their values are to the brands that they buy from. It's similar to a relationship: if you have things in common, that will bring about a successful business connection, but if those values don't align, then there will be no relationship.
People don't buy products, they buy solutions. And in the current climate, consumers more than ever want to make sure that their purchasing decisions are making a difference instead of adding to the chaos. Companies that can articulate this well will be able to convert users faster, gain trust and build an authentic brand identity.
This section expands on your why - a thing is only as meaningful as the meaning you give it. Why is your why the WHY of your brand? Here are a few prompts:
What do you stand for?
What are your brand's core values & beliefs?
What is your brand here to share with its audience?
How can you infuse these values into your content genuinely and not-forcedly?
Answering these questions will help you create content that feels authentic to consumers and is aligned with your brand identity. Only then will you be able to create content that truly resonates.
3. Share Your Story
We're all human. We all have stories, and we all screw up sometimes. Be vulnerable, be honest, and show your audience that you're just like them. It's not always easy to be vulnerable and open up about who you are, but it's important to remember that your audience is full of people just like you. They will appreciate your honesty and authenticity, and they will be more likely to connect with you on a personal level through your videos.
This can be done by featuring the faces of the people behind the brand, telling the brand's story, and highlighting the company's values. When you tell stories in your videos, it allows your audience to connect with your brand on an emotional level. And when people are emotionally connected to a brand, they're more likely to become loyal customers.
Real people with real stories
So what's your brand story? Your brand's story is the heart of your authentic message. It's what makes you different from other brands in your industry, and it's what will connect with your audience on a deeper level. To find your brand's story, start by thinking about what makes your brand unique. These all stem from your why, values, and beliefs. Once you have a good understanding of your brand's story, start thinking about how you can incorporate it into your videos.
Some of the most successful and talked about videos are those that evoke some sort of emotion in the viewer - story does that.
4. Show Up As Your True Self
Authenticity is about being genuine, transparent, and vulnerable. Only then will you be able to evoke real emotion. This is because real recognizes real.
There are many ways to create authentic videos, but one of the most important is to be transparent. This means being honest about who you are, what you do, and why you do it. It also means showing your audience the human side of your brand - the people behind the scenes who make everything happen. When customers see the people behind a brand, it helps to create a connection and builds trust.
Many people struggle with a lack of self-confidence. It might be about how they look, sound, or what they have to say. As a result, most don't even start creating video content, and those who do fall flat because the human element is missing. And that's the one thing audiences respond to most.
The main thing is that you have to be okay with being vulnerable and putting yourself out there. Some things to keep in mind:
You have to actually want to be there
It's a skill, so you have to practice it
Unscripted and unfiltered is the way to go
Video isn't for everyone, and that's okay!
Talk about what you know
Check out this video, where Danielle talks about the power of authenticity.
When you're planning your video strategy, think about how you can use authenticity to your advantage. It will make your videos more relatable, more believable, and ultimately, more successful.
At its core, being authentic is staying true to your brand.
It's being genuine, transparent, and honest with your audience. It's about creating content that feels real and relatable instead of contrived or "sales-y." Of course, there's a balance to be struck here. You don't want to be so authentic that you come across as unprofessional. But if you can find that sweet spot, you'll be able to create videos that really connect with your audience.
So go out there and be yourself! Your audience will thank you for it.
Are you ready to stop struggling with complicated video creation processes and start creating videos at scale?